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Cardi B community service
via Twitter (@iamcardib)

These is bovine shoes! Cardi B does community service in Tabi boots

The rapper compounded a long-held tradition of celebs doing enforced labour in impractical fashions

This morning, Cardi B compounded a long-held tradition wherein celebrities wear something wholly inappropriate to undertake community service. Having been embroiled in a row with bartenders in 2018 after accusing one of them of sleeping with Offset, the rapper was forced to appear before a judge after failing to complete 15 days of mandatory service as part of a plea deal. That’s since been extended until March 1 – and Cardi has decided to shoulder the prospect of unpaid labour with a pair of cream Tabi boots, which is a much more noble use of the Margiela hoof than running a HFT account and sitting in Granary Square. 

Part of growing up and maturing is being accountable for your actions," she said at court – which is a lovely message, really. Of course, this isn’t to romanticise court-mandated sanctions – or gawk at regular people who are ordered to sweep the streets in trainers – but to honour the pettiness of someone spinning shame and scandal into aspirational fodder. It’s Anna Delvey’s ankle monitor landing its very own ES magazine cover. It’s Lindsay Lohan tweeting “can CHANEL please help me out by getting me some stickers to put on my scram bracelet so that i can at least wear a chic dress?! maybe!? x.” It’s Naomi Campbell cleaning a sanitation garage in a glimmering Dolce & Gabbana column. 

Rightly or wrongly, these people – whether they were caught swindling the New York elite, huffing slugs of cocaine, or lobbing a phone at their assistant – refused to be punished. Cardi’s look (a sensible pair of jeans and a humble zip-up sweater) managed to muster a little more remorse than her counterparts, though… even if she did turn up to court in a hulking white fur jacket and angular sunglasses. To take control of your appearance while in the grips of disgrace feels cocky, disobedient, and powerful, undermining the seriousness of the judicial system.“Second day of community service……Obey the law,” she tweeted, which isn’t so much of a threat as it is a warning.